Slapperbands – What are They?
Slapperbands Provide Companies with a Powerful yet Economical Branding Opportunity
Although more often written as two separate words in other countries, slapperbands have grown to become almost as much a part of life in South Africa as biltong and braaivleis. Other terms that are also commonly used to describe these items are slap bracelets and snap bracelets. Whichever of these titles you may prefer to apply, all refer to the unique action of these innovatively designed and decorative wristbands. They were the invention of a teacher from Wisconsin in the United States of America, who layered flexible sprung bands of bistable stainless steel to create a bracelet that, when in the stable straightened position, if slapped against the forearm would curl around it to assume its alternative stable form.
Sold under the name “Slap Wrap”, these early slapperbands were covered in coloured fabrics or plastic, and gained instant popularity as a fashion item among US teens during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Following a series of injuries as a result of improper use, many schools banned them and their popularity waned until re-introduced following a move to a plastic spring mechanism that was equally effective, but which eliminated all risk of injury that was inherent in its metal predecessor.
With their early safety issues now firmly a thing of the past and although still widely worn as fashion accessories, these self-wrapping bracelets have more recently been adapted for use in some very different circumstances. One particularly valuable application for slapperbands, although one that some may consider to be a little macabre, is their use in major incident situations or on the battlefield, where they can serve as a means to implement triage in which different coloured bracelets are used to signify the relative urgency with which casualties need to be treated. They may be applied easily and to any limb or attached to the clothing where necessary, in order to simplify and to speed the patient screening process.
Another important health and safety type application in which the use of these self-affixing wristbands has proved to be invaluable involves coating standard slapperbands with reflective material that, at night, serve to greatly improve the visibility of pedestrians and joggers to motorists in poorly lit areas.
By far the most common use of these wearable devices today, however, is in the role of an inexpensive and highly effective marketing tool. Most of today’s consumers have a tendency to be brand conscious and will happily display the logo of a prestigious manufacturer on a high-priced designer garment. The widespread appeal of a colourful yet inexpensive bracelet as a fashion accessory has meant that that they too, are able to provide a powerful vehicle with which to promote a brand or a product.
Slapperbands in the wide range of shapes and colours that are available today offer the advertiser all of the extensive reach and longevity that is possible with many marketing options such as branded T-shirts and baseball caps. They are, however, able to achieve this for a mere fraction of the outlay – a definite benefit at a time when budgets have become markedly tighter.
Minimising your investment should not, however, require that you also compromise on quality. This is why we, at IDCBand, are the brand that is your guarantee of South Africa’s most economical and durable slapperbands.